might be over, but it looks like star Bryan Cranston is heading back to the small screen in a different role than Walter White.
Deadline is reporting
that director Steven Spielberg is looking to develop All The Way
, the Broadway play about President Lyndon B. Johnson, as a miniseries on TV. Cranston would reprise his role as the president. This news comes the day after he won a Tony Award for Lead Actor in a Play for his portrayal of LBJ. All The Way
also won for Best Play.
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Here is Cranston accepting the Tony Award:
Apparently, Spielberg has been to see the play a couple times, and he's formed friendships with Cranston and Robert Schenkkan, who wrote the script for the Broadway show.
While a network is not yet attached to this potential miniseries (and a timeframe for filming is unknown at this time), HBO could be a good fit, especially considering that Spielberg has worked with them in the past. And Cranston obviously has ties to AMC, so that's a possibility as well, though HBO seems more likely.
Here are four reasons to be excited about this news:
More People Have a Chance to See All The Way Now
Unless a play or musical does a national tour around the country, it's unlikely that most of us will get the chance to see as many Broadway shows as we would like to. But a TV miniseries is a great idea because it opens up many possibilities, not just with the story (which I'll mention later on), but also with the audience.
Also, tickets for Broadway shows are expensive, and it's simply unaffordable for many people. But with this miniseries, as long as you have whatever channel it'll be airing on, then you can just sit back on your couch and enjoy without even stepping out to the theatre.
Need I say more? I mean, what else is there to say? Cranston was brilliant as the high school teacher turned meth kingpin Walter White. He and the show won all sorts of awards, which were all deserving. And we recently had the chance to see him in the new Godzilla remake.
But it's his role as LBJ that has people talking once more about the actor in the same buzz-worthy nature as when Breaking Bad was still on the air. He's received rave reviews, and magnificiently transforms into the 36th President of the United States. He's not Bryan Cranston playing LBJ -- he is Lynden B. Johnson. They say lightning doesn't strike twice, but it looks like it has for this actor.
Here is a first-look video at the Broadway play, with many clips of Cranston as LBJ to give you a glimpse into his transformation and portrayal:
A Miniseries Can Tell More of the Story
The Broadway play centers on LBJ's first year in office. But Deadline also notes that there's another LBJ play called The Great Society that'll make its debut this summer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. This one follows Johnson from 1964 to 1968.
Spielberg's version would be a miniseries, after all, so there's a lot more room to extend the story and also add in Society. For those who have seen the play, this would be an extra treat for them because they get to see Cranston once again in the role, but with new scenes that they didn't see before. It's a win-win for everybody, really.
A Look Back at Political History
All The Way starts with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, when LBJ had to assume of the office of the presidency, and follows events during his first year in office, including dealing with Civil Rights legislation and getting re-elected.
Here is the official description: "1964: A pivotal year in American history -- a landmark civil rights bill was passed, America began its involvement in Vietnam ... and one man sat at the center of it all, determined to lift the country out of the ashes and rebuild it into The Great Society -- by any means necessary. Hero. Bully. President. He played whatever part it took to win the day. It's not personal, it's just politics."
Of these two presidents, Kennedy is talked about a lot more. Because of his assassination, it's obvious why. But LBJ is also a president of significant importance, regardless of anyone's political affiliation or views -- just read the description above for a teaser of what he was dealing with while in office.
When we think of learning about history, doesn't boring textbooks come to mind? Well, a play like All The Way is a fantastic way for us to learn about past events in a way that brings history to life with top-notch talent that draws in even people who aren't political news junkies. If you don't know much about President Johnson, then this play and future miniseries is your window into the past -- and it's an eye-opening view, to say the least.
Are you excited that Spielberg is developing All The Way for the small screen? And whether or not you've seen the play, will you be glad to see Cranston on our TV screens once more?
(Image courtesy of WENN)